BlackBerry outage: Bad Timing or Planned Attack?
BlackBerry’s list of woes continues to grow. The outage’s coincidence with all the brouhaha associated with the release of iPhone 4S and Siri raises more eyebrows. It is the biggest outage in the company’s history. Things were not going great with RIM after all, with its tussles over sharing their secured communication with government monitoring agencies in the Middle East and India. London rioters using BlackBerry messaging service to synchronize their attacks did not add much positive PR too.
The outage affected users over five continents and even Canadian premier’s office was not spared. It affected RIM’s famed instant messaging service, email and browsing. Apple could not have asked for a better time to introduce iMessage, its proprietary messaging service native to iOS5. The service disruption could cost RIM millions of dollars in compensation to customers who lost their service and for it’s failure in honoring any Service Level Agreements. Already some Telco’s announced that they will compensate customers for the loss of service and they will definitely recover this amount from RIM. It could damage the brand’s reliability and undermine its claim of network redundancies and five nines (99.999%) service availability.
It all started with a switch failure in England and soon snowballed into a crisis spreading over Europe, Middle East and North America. RIM’s post-handling of the crisis also did not go well with the customers and the backlog traffic started impacting other systems. RIM has already fallen behind Apple & Google in adopting technology in a rapidly changing market. As per some analysts, industries that don’t have high level security requirements will start switching. Corporate market is bread and butter for RIM and it cannot allow Apple or anyone to eat into this market. RIM might be hoping that its secured communication will save the day this time. But one more incident of this scale or anything compromising its security features can be a final nail in RIM’s coffin.
Do you think Apple should announce discounted deals for those users switching from BlackBerry?